Friday, May 05, 2006

Off With One Hellava Roar

Today, Scott The Taller became... A Man. A Man, with butter bars.

He was commissioned today into the Air Force. Better him than me. For the Air Force, I mean, not me.

I would last perhaps a nanosecond in a military environment before requiring an intravenous source of horse-grade tranquilizers. Even after realizing that the Air Force Academy and I would have caused mutual destruction upon contact, I approached AFROTC Detachment 225 of the University of Notre Dame and asked the recruiter, whose very existence depended upon sweeping warm bodies into the military, if he thought the service might be able to use an English major.

"I think," he said, taking in my peach hair ribbons and sparkly Tinkerbelle purse, "that you and the Air Force might not get along." Meaning: We will chew you up and spit you out and then chew you right back up again, because we can.

Where my father had thrived, I would crap myself. Dad was four years at MacDill during the Cuban Missile Crisis. At the age of eighteen, he grew three inches. I have never thought it was just the food.

I have, in my own bemused and sickening way, made a full circle. The Univeristy of Airplanes is a major ROTC artery, meaning that I often have classes containing ten or more young cadets from all three branches. So although I can't join the military, I can still bloody well pollute it.

Two of my former students were commissioned along with Scott, meaning that we should be a fifth-world military power by 8 AM on Monday. I went to the ceremony, because I was proud and curious and awed and humbled and somebody said there would be cookies. I almost missed the Oath of Office since I had to dart out the door to cry, and blow my nose on an Offical United States Air Force Napkin ($45,281/per).

It was a far sight more impressive than Country The Brother In Law's commissioning into the Navy, which took place as part of his college's graduation ceremony. They swore everybody in service by service, and all the Navy people just kind of wandered to the front of the gym when called ("Well, the rest of this has been boring enough; might as well stretch my legs and get an all expenses paid trip aboard a nuclear submarine while I'm at it"), whereas the Air Force cadets formed a nice neat line and marched sharply up to the microphone. "The Air Force has time to practice that sort of thing, while the rest of us are doing important military stuff," he said, by way of explanation, when I mocked him over this. Perhaps. However, Jim The Young Child Nephew patently refuses to say "boat," but he does point skyward and announce "Zoom! Zoom!" when an airplane passes overhead, so he'd better get cracking if he doesn't want his son stomping around a gym at five-thirty in the morning with a pair of wingie-things on his shoulder.

Congratulations, gentlemen, and I thank you. You've truly saved the world by keeping me from taking your place.

give 'em the gun at:


Josh The Pilot has uploaded a recent video from a trip to the Magic Kingdom. (Important people + photographs + violation of an endangered species of emu = cheap Disney entry.) Wait at least an hour after eating before watching, because we're on a ride that whips us around in very fast circles, which is the best possible time to hold out at arm's length a digital camera not yet paid for. Now you can hear our voices! With a whole bunch of wind in front of them!

The video is 38 seconds, in which time the Walt Disney Company sucks up small nation in Europe. If you watch very carefully, you can see a family of four in the background enter conditional bankruptcy.

You're going to Disney World! Via Josh's camera, which threw up after this shot!

$3.41 for an icee at:

Thursday, May 04, 2006


This will come as a shock to all of you, but I am, in fact, incompetent. I have converted a DVD of my reading to a computer-y format--I believe that is the proper term--but I can't find anywhere to host these huge files so that you can go and be horrified. Suggestions?

Thank you for your patience with these short, largely spazoid posts during finals week. Off to hand out some well-earned F-'s.

UPDATE As of 4:07 PM today, the kindly and talented Michael The Reader seems to have the situation-- and now the DVD--well in hand. Thanks for all your suggestions, except for the one that was obscene. Y'all are my homeys.

red ink at:

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Hiring Ian

Because when you're attempting to grade finals, what you need to do is get sucked into a reality show with no commercials. Entree PBS' 1867 Texas Ranch House, which features a fellow Ohioan, although I suspect he is from the small secret pocket of Ohio that exports tools, because his biography reads like this:

Ian now lives in Ohio. He recently completed a master's degree in adventure education

Oh, but if this sounds useless to you, fear not. He has an emphasis:

with an emphasis on cultural diversity.

Man, that'll get you places. Where can't you go in life with a master's degree in adventure education with an emphasis on cultural diversity?

THIS WEEK ON BUSTEDHALO.COM: Now I hate Mexico, too!

changing my major at:

The Awesomeness That Is Crystal The Reader

Thank you very kindly, Crystal The Reader, for being wise as well as kind. I am most humbled. Clap for Crystal, everybody! Yep!

jumping up and down because people are nice at:

Monday, May 01, 2006

Oh, and

if you are ordering the book via Amazon, please do so via me. Then I get a li'l cut.

That's right. I'm a dirty, dirty, shill-whore. Join me.

Prepare To Be Bitterly, Bitterly Disappointed

There. It is officially May 1, 2006, and I may now reveal the SuperSecretDoubleProbation Project. Are you ready? Huh? Are you? Are you ready?

It's this!

No, that project would involve math, and also measures of extreme toolosity. It's actually this.

You've been hoping all this time for a puppy, I know. I apologize.

Two months after the contest deadline, after a night of heavy drinking, Random House sent me an email. "Tired of free will?" it said. At this stage in my career, I am in no place to have volition, so I was all, "Okay!"

I was one of twenty-nine entrants selected for anthologization (which sounds WAY dirtier and more fun than it actually is) in Twentysomething Essays by Twentysomething Writers: The Best New Voices of 2006, available at a pretentious bookstore near you on August 29. It has a link on Amazon and everything, which means we are less than two seconds away from Papa1961 leaving one-star reviews that are all, "I H8TED THIS BK, DON'T BY IT!!!!!!!!!!"

My essay is called "The Waltz," and is about... not dancing. It is not a good bathroom read. I recommend turning on every single light in the house first.

So who's known about this all along? Well, my parents. They're the ones who didn't impale me for failing to qualify for any single tax bracket thus far. Julie The NephewMama. Country The Brother In Law. (I told them after Jim The Small Child Nephew was in bed, so I'm assuming they ran right upstairs and hauled him out of the crib to let him know that his aunt was now a dirty corporate hack.) Josh The Pilot knew. So did my department chair, a large handful of my former professors, every single one of my friends, my 11th grade English teacher, this guy who hangs out on the corner of Mason and Ridgewood yelling "I AM THE CHEESEBURGLER!", all of my students, and, of course, Dave Barry.

Random House, God bless it, now has ownership of my very soul to the point where if I exhale in the wrong direction, it is within full legal rights to revoke my entire existence. Like, everyone who has even thought of reading this blog will be ejected, fighter-pilot style, from his computer chair and sent directly to the Random House attorneys' office (Notice where the apostrophe is on that. I don't joke about lawyers who control me in perpetuity.) I am permitted, however, to provide a sample of my contribution before the book goes to press.

Here’s a word that will be in the essay:


I know! I can’t wait to read it either!

the counter program registered the highest number of hits here last month than since it began keeping track-- best! readers! ever!:

Sunday, April 30, 2006

David The Reader Is the Rockingest!

Within this post we gather to pay homage to David The Reader and his kind generosity. Thank you so much, David. It is good that you-- AND your money--are here. Yay to you!

you too can have your name in bold print just like David here at:

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